Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bye Biz. bye

Waiting. waiting. Waiting for the UPS man to get here. Waiting for the stop sign to turn green so I can go. Waiting in the waiting room for news of the new baby. Waiting for Biz's installation crew to arrive. Waiting.  Is it ever easy?
Today is the day. tick tick tick. Our magic publications/communications guy came into my office and sat in the talking chair and waited with me for a while. I felt like he needed to say something, the way he kept leaning forward opening his mouth and then sitting back  shaking his head, mouth closed. I tried to work but my gut said he needed to speak so I stopped and looked over at him. "What is it?"
"Well." His voice quieted as he looked softly at me.
"It's almost time. You know we'll need to get a last copy count before they... before they disconnect.... before they end..."
"Just say it, will you? Bizzy needs last rites before they pull the plug!"
He nodded."Do you want me to do it?"
" No, I should be the one. It will give me closure. Do I need to go now?"
"Yes. I think it's time."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The new arrival

Framily. A friend shared that word with me. friends who are family. I have a ton of those. The flowers in the church yarden, the people I work with, church members who know me now and still come by my office for gum and chats, the mailman, people I yoga with, trees that wave me by on my regular walks... our copy cats....the list keeps going. Framily is very embracing. I like it. That word is all that is left of the framily member that opened that word to me. She is now across the country living in another zip code, time zone, climate.

Our copy machine, Biz got tired after copying 1,900,000 pages here at work church. Really? not even 2 mil? What's that about ? She gave us hints she was wearing thin with squeaks and jams. She had knee replacement, hip replacement, and drawer 3 replacement surgeries but she never quite beeped back to her old sparky self so we went to the cabbage patch and found another bizzy family member. The new baby arrived swaddled in saran wrap last week, but the doc said he wouldn't be able to slap her butt and get her screaming til next week so he rolled her into the quietest space we could find that was big enough to accommodate her parts.The chapel.

The chapel used to be the sanctuary eons ago, but now is pretty much a multi-purpose room. Pews are long gone, and the space is nice and friendly, open. Once a week, one of our associate pastors has a communion service in the chapel at lunchtime. Summer has stolen some attendees, as summer will, (who can compete with the NC coast?) leaving a handful of folks to fill the "pews," now chairs, but they come determined and hungry for some soul and spirit food; aside from the Welches and Hawaiian bread, I mean. They enjoy the short service and have made a ritual of coming each week. The service offers comfort and a little God snack in the middle of the week to help sustain fragile faith and promise til Sunday comes.

I was getting ready to escape for a lunch time cat nap at home when one of the custodial framily guys called out- "Wait!". I stopped and waited for him to lope over. "You know there's communion service today." His tone was rushed and serious.
I looked at him.  His eyebrows had bolted up to his hairline and pulled his eyes wide wide open. "Thanks for reminding me, but I'm going to lunch." I gazed through the front door glass.
" I know but there's a copy machine in there."
"Oh! that's our new baby bizzy! Isn't she lovely? She's hanging out in the back of the Chapel for a few days.We can't move her until the guys come to install her next week."
"But, but, uh the chapel is supposed to be empty of everything but chairs and the altar."His eyebrows knitted and purled as he spoke. He didn't seem to share my excitement about our new arrival.
"I don't think the pastor will mind having a mute bundle listen in today, really I don't."
He looked at me as if I was speaking Greek yogurt. "The pastor is reealllllyyy particular about that set up."
I could tell this was important and I respect the level of hard work he gives his job. I nodded; gave him the okay sign. I walked back over to the front desk and got a scrap piece of  paper, a pinch of tape, and a marker. I closed my eyes, concentrating on what I wanted to say , scribble scrabbled some syllables, then headed for the chapel. He shadowed my steps closely. I entered the chapel  and taped the note ever so gently on baby bizzy. Then I headed out  to lunch again.

He followed me down the hall and into the lobby. "Are you sure that will be okay?" His fingers were locked together in a single crochet, no, double. I wondered how he was going to be able to drive home later.
"I'm certain. Relax. Don't worry. It's an inclusive service, isn't it?"
" Welllllll, yeah. I guess so."

I stepped outside into the sweltering heat and left him standing in the lobby silently praying while trying to unknot his fingers.

I saw the pastor later that afternoon. "How'd your service  go today?"
"Fine, fine." No mention of an unwelcomed guest, I noticed.
"How'd Bizzy do?"
"Remarkably well for a newborn." he bantered.
"Great, that's good to know."
He handed me the note I had taped to bizzy. "Thought it might chaff the newborn's tender cover."

I love it when people just go along with the stories that interrupt routine. Love. It.

My boss came up behind me and looked over my shoulder. "What's that?"
I gave him the slip of paper. "Hi. I'm Bizzy. Church Chick put me here because I want to attend the service"
"Oh, great! the new copier is here."  My boss acted as if he, too, was thrilled to have a new church framily member arrive.
"What will become of the old one?" he asked.
"Foster care. We'll find a family who will love it as we did. A family who doesn't work it so hard."
He stepped into his office. "Well, that's just great, it really is." The door clicked shut and we all went back to work.
Maybe when new Bizzy is up and running, I'll write the news on the white board in the hallway, add it to the newborns, illnesses and death announcements. or, maybe not.